• Julian & Michaela


Often, when we experience anger, there are other, more vulnerable emotions hidden beneath the surface. For example, we may feel hurt, fearful, rejected or overwhelmed. Looking ‘underneath’ our anger can help us to better understand our responses and learn to manage them more effectively.


This can be particularly important in personal relationships where we can find our emotions escalating very rapidly in ways we find difficult to control. In the illustration anger is helpfully represented as an iceberg, highlighting the way our deeper emotions can remain concealed from view.


Reflecting upon our anger in this way can help us to take a step back and look inside ourselves rather than lashing out at those around us.



  • Julian & Michaela

Human beings place a lot of faith in the power of thought. It is our ability to reason - to think rationally and logically - which has often been held up as the thing which distinguishes us from the animal kingdom.


Increasingly, however, therapists recognise that the thinking mind is not the be all and end all of who we are, and certainly not the only means of sorting out our personal problems, which usually have a physical and emotional dimension that also need attention.


Not all the difficulties we face can be thought-through to a satisfactory resolution. Indeed when we try to sort out our problems in this way we can get caught up in circularity and over-thinking. Many clients sight their tendency to overthink problems as part of their reason for coming for therapy.


As a result therapists are looking to other ways of working with their clients which involve more than just talking issues through. These methods often involve working with the five senses, in particular the senses of sight, sound and touch. Therapies such as EMDR and EFT make use of eye movement and tapping on the body. Guided relaxation methods have been used for many years by hypnotherapists and are now incorporated into other models of practice.


This may all sound a bit strange, but if you think about it the advantages of working in these ways become obvious. The psychological benefits not just of yoga and body massage, but of all forms of physical activity are now universally acknowledged.


Walk and talk therapy has increasingly been use during the Covid-19 social restrictions, bringing together talking with the simple physical activity of walking. At the same time this also encourages sensory engagement with the natural environment.


Simple sensory experiences can also be easily utilised for self-help purposes as is shown in this useful self-soothing illustration. This graphic helps to elucidate some of the simple ways we can help to nurture our sense of mental as well as physical wellbeing.




  • Julian & Michaela

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Winter can be a difficult time of year for some people and this year it is being made all the more challenging by the lockdown and the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic.


Seasonal changes affects us to an extent which is not always fully acknowledged as we become as a society increasingly detached from the rhythms of the natural world.


Our ancestors who lived much closer to nature were perhaps more accepting of seasonal change. They incorporated it into their annual rituals, folklore and frequent festivities – some vestiges of which still remain, but in forms which are increasingly remote from the changes in the natural world and the weather which gave them birth.


Scandinavian countries such as Denmark and Norway with their concept of hygge are also better able than us to adapat to the austerities of the cold months, finding joy in the comforts of coziness, conviviality and the simple pleasures life has to offer.


These ideas are not alien to us either. It was novelist, Charles Dickens, who in the Victorian era helped to establish many of the customs which have become an integral part of the British Christmas.


Ultimately it’s about developing an attitude and a state of mind which helps to nurture our sense well-being, even in adversity. Rather than lamenting the loss of the summer, or dwelling on what is absent from our lives, we can benefit by tuning in to the pleasures which winter can bring.


Below are some useful tips which might help with that and see our Facebook page for many other useful resources to increase mental well-being:


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© 2019 by Julian & Michaela Gill at Whitley Bay Therapy